Yet another COVID-19 variant is garnering the attention of researchers. While health officials have been raising concerns about the more transmissible B.1.617.2 variant, also called Delta, scientists are working to learn more about a variant dubbed “Delta Plus.”
India’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare announced Delta Plus was a variant of concern late last month, noting this form of the virus was more contagious, could bind more readily to lung cells, and potentially could evade some antibody response.
Public Health England published some preliminary information on the variant as well, stating that it had been detected in at least 11 countries. The United States was one of those countries, with more than 80 cases detected via genomic sequencing. According to the agency’s report, Delta Plus carries all the mutations of Delta, plus the spike protein mutation K417N, which is also seen in the Beta variant, first detected in South Africa.